Kate Essex is the supervisor of the customer service representative group for Enovelty.com, a manufacturer of novelty items. This group spends its workday answering calls from and sometimes placing calls to customers to assist in solving a variety of issues about orders previously placed with the company. The company has a rule that personal phone calls are allowed only during breaks. Essex is assigned to monitor each representative on the phone for 15 minutes a day as part of her regular job tasks. The representatives are aware that Essex will be monitoring them, and customers are immediately informed of this when they begin their calls. Essex begins to monitor James Olsen and finds that he is on a personal call regarding his sick child. Olsen is not on break.
1. What should Essex do?
2. What, if any, ethical principles help guide decision making in this situation?
3. What management practices should be in place to ensure proper behavior without violating individual “rights” ?
4. Apply the normative theories of business ethics to this situation.